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Ghost Ships and the End of the World by Karen Maitland

Posted on: 31/10/2016 with tags: Ghost Ships, halloween, karen maitland, Middle Ages, The Plague Charmer, vikings, Medieval, Middle Ages

Since ancient times, the sea has meant life for coastal communities of the British Isles, providing food, salt and even driftwood for building our homes and heating them. But we always have feared the sea too, not just for its own destructive power, but for the ships that sail on it bringing bloodthirsty pirates and warriors like the Saxons and Vikings to loot, rape and slaughter. But many of these early invaders settled and their mythology became part of our folklore which continues even to thi…

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The Harrying of the North by James Aitcheson

Posted on: 06/07/2016 with tags: Battle of Hastings, historical fiction, medieval history, Middle Ages, Norman Conquest, The Harrying of the North, william the conqueror, Medieval, Norman

Ask most people what was the defining event of the Norman Conquest and they’ll probably name the Battle of Hastings, when William the Conqueror defeated and killed his rival Harold Godwineson en route to seizing the English crown in 1066. However, it was the cruel coda to Hastings that has arguably done most to define modern perceptions of the Normans and their impact on England. Over the winter of 1069-70, William the Conqueror’s armies laid waste Yorkshire and the north-east of England in a ru…

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